Estrellas Barcelona crowd breaks PokerStars record
Well, that escalated quickly.
This week's Estrellas Poker Tour event in Barcelona has just become the biggest freezeout event in PokerStars tour history.
Up until today, the 1,626-strong field at UKIPT Nottingham held the record for the biggest PokerStars event. It seemed like a tough record to beat.
But, this week, the Estrellas event simply blew up. Six hundred seventy-five people signed up for Day 1A Wednesday. This morning, the Day 1B field and queue for alternates was huge. At the dinner break tonight, at least 960 people had taken their seats for the €1,100 Main Event, taking the total number of players to at least 1,635.
Edgar Stuchly, President of the EPT, said, "I'm incredibly proud to be part of the biggest live poker tournament that PokerStars has ever held. Last year's player numbers in Barcelona - both Estrellas and the EPT - were sensational. It is fantastic that we have beaten our own record and also now that of the 2011 PCA and UKIPT Nottingham. I want to thank all our players who have made this possible - and also my team who have worked so hard and are so dedicated."
When Day 1A finished yesterday, French PokerStars qualifier Julien Gaston led the pack. Team PokerStars Pros Rino Mathis and Juan Manual Pastor were also among the 201 survivors who made it through to Day 2. If you don't mind reading a little Spanish, our blog partners in Spain are covering the monster event live.
This record-breaking tournament is the end of the season for the Estrellas bunch, but it's just the beginning of the European Poker Tour's tenth season kickoff in Barcelona.
Tomorrow we begin our coverage of the EPT €50,000 Super High Roller event in sunny Spain. Stay with us for live action, features, and streaming coverage of EPT Barcelona over the next week.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging